Chapter 20 : Writing on the Wall
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Currently he was sitting at a table in the library across from Scott. The two had a transfigurations test the next day and Scott needed help with some of material.
"Fera Verto," Scott said pointing his wand at a large rat that was sitting on the table in front of the two. The rat let out a squealing noise and tried to bolt. Tom lifted it into the air quickly before it got away. For a moment he briefly wondered if this counted as cruel and unusual punishment. It was the fifth time in a row that Scott had zapped the poor thing.
"You are waving it too much," Tom said, "This spell works best when you hold your wand steadier."
Scott nodded and tried again. This time the rat's fur turned a shade of bright pink although it didn't seem to notice anything.
Scott stared at it for a moment, willing the thing to change into a cup.
"I don't know what to tell you," Tom snorted out, "Its pink."
"I noticed," Scott sulked.
"You must be directing your magic wrong," Tom contemplated, once he had finished laughing.
"What?" Scott asked confused.
"A wand is only a tool used to refine your magic. It doesn't physically do the magic, you are the one who does it. If you were to somehow directing you're magic to make the rat pink, then I bet it wouldn't matter what incantation you were saying," Tom explained.
Scott furrowed his eyebrows, "Of course," Scott said sarcastically," Why didn't I think of that?"
Tom ignored him and sunk deep into his own thoughts. Directing magic was something very advanced; most wizards didn't ever learn it to any extent in their life time. His father had started to teach him the basics two year ago. The fact that he had waited until he was twelve was a testament to the difficulty of the technique. He was taught the three unforgivable curses when he was eight.
That's when the idea hit him. If done correctly channeling his magic wandlessly could create a powerful shield. When his father had been arrested that was the technique they were working on, how to cast protego without a wand. Tom never mastered the technique but he understood the gist of it. Legilimency was more or less a spell, if he made the shield smaller, and more concentrated, it might be able to work as a good Occlemency technique.
Tom stood up and started heading out of the door towards Snape's office.
"Wait, where are you going?" Scott shouted from behind him.
Tom spun around and pointed his wand at the rat, "Fera Verto." The rat transformed into a small goblet before toppling over.
"There the rat is now a cup," Tom called behind him, "I have to go talk to Professor Snape."
Tom ran out the door and started climbing down the stairs. His mind was racing though all of the possibilities of this new method. If it worked maybe he could project it further than his own mind. If it worked maybe he could start working on the protego spell again. If it worked…
Tom burst into the potions master's office. Snape was rummaging through potion ingredients.
"Professor I want to try one more time," he blurted out upon entrance.
Snape's dark eyes glanced coldly over at Tom, "I see you couldn't wait until tomorrow. Obviously you have learned an abundance of self-control," he said sarcastically.
"Sir is your way the only way to find success with Occlemency," Tom asked ignoring Snape's comment.
"It is the simplest method and I have no intention of teaching you another one of which you will be incapable of doing," Snape sneered.
"I think I know a way. You wouldn't have to teach me anything," Tom replied quickly.
"And what would your genious proposal be?" Snape snpped. The man couldn't have looked more uninterested if he tried.
Tom didn't say anything instead he looked waved his hand at a container on Snape's shelf. It fell to the ground but just before it shattered it stopped its fall. Tom lowered his arm slightly and it plopped itself gently on the ground. All of which he did without his wand.
Snape didn't look the slightest bit impressed of course, "Your point?" Snape asked impatiently.
"I think that if I can make a smaller version of the protego curse around my mind it might work instead of having good self-control," Tom explained. He examined his professor's face carefully hoping that the man was convinced.
"One try today," Snape said unhappily. Tom sat down eagerly into the chair and waited for Snape to cast the spell.
Jonathan and Tom ducked behind a couch that was cast onto its side. Around the two the room was in disarray. A woman's voice rang through the room calling several incantations. There must have been a duel going on. For a moment the two boys just hid there shaking in fear watching the reflection of different flashing lights in the broken mirror that was on the floor a few feet away from them.
Tom's conscience watched the scene stunned for a moment. He knew this was his own memory because it was familiar. He felt as if he were watching a movie that he had seen ages ago. He didn't remember the details, but the outcome was clear. This was the day his mother died.
The flashes continued. Some of them were green and that scared little Tom. He didn't know the lights came from killing curses at the time but he knew they were bad.
At this point Tom remembered that he was supposed to be blocking Snape out. He took in his three year old self in one last time before turning his attention away from the scene. He stretched his senses out looking for the sixth one that he had learned to recognize over the years, magic. He imagined a thin blue layer of protection around his mind.
For a moment the memory faded and he saw Snape again through his eyes. As fast as the real world returned though it went away and the memory returned.
Tom heard his voice pierce through the sounds of crashing objects, "Wake up Mommy," he said quietly.
Tom was standing over her fallen body. The woman's face once again became clear in Tom's memory. Her hair was a brown- almost blonde- color. Her nose was small and delicate and fit in her face well with her high cheek bones. Tom felt a lump form in his throat. His face was shaped like hers, like a pear. He felt a hand on his shoulder pulling him away. Little Tom turned to look up at the stranger. At that moment he didn't know the man, in time though he would come to know him as Father.
The vision faded and Tom felt himself frozen in his chair, unable to move. Snape was breathing heavily now his wand lowered.
"It worked," Snape breathed, shocked.
Tom didn't reply he just sat there and stared. That was his mother. He couldn't remember her face a few weeks ago. Furthermore, his father had been there.
His father had killed her.
No that couldn't be true. He would have known if he had done it. Tom would've known better than to defend the man when Jonathan accused him years ago.
Jonathan knew he killed her.
The day before he died Jonathan had been arguing with Tom. He was convinced that their father had been innocent. Tom felt sick to his stomach.
"Professor," Tom said in a voice just above a whisper. Snape had been talking about Occlemency, about Tom's new method.
"What?" Snape snapped annoyed that Tom had interrupted him.
"He did it didn't he?" Tom asked. His eyes desperately searched Snape's face for denial. It wasn't there.
Tom stood up," I'm going to dinner." Without another word Tom fled the room and walked up to the Great Hall.
Scott was waiting for him there.
"Hey Tom look I did it. That stupid rat is a cup now," he cried excitedly.
Tom smiled half-heartedly," That's great." He sat there silent for the rest of the meal as Scott talked excitedly about how he mastered the spell. For the first time since he had met the boy Tom didn't listen to the word he said.
"Are you ok?" Scott asked towards the end of dinner, "You haven't eaten anything. I mean no offence man, but usually you eat like a pig."
Tom put a fake smile on his face," I'm fine Scott, just tired."
"Alright," Scott said, though he obviously didn't believe him.
"I think I'm going to call it a night," Tom said, standing up to leave.
Scott stood up too, "I'm coming with you."
Tom didn't respond instead he just let Scott fall into step with him as the two headed towards the tower. When they turned the corner they saw Harry, Ron, and Hermione standing in the middle of the hall staring at something.
That wasn't what made Tom think something was wrong. It was the cat that was hanging stiff in front of the three. Tom rushed forward to see what was going on. Written on the wall beside the cat was "The chamber of secrets has been opened, enemies of the Heir beware" in blood.
Tom felt a wave of energy move through his dark marks. This day couldn't get any worse.
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